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Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression

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  • James H. Stock
  • Motohiro Yogo

Abstract

Weak instruments can produce biased IV estimators and hypothesis tests with large size distortions. But what, precisely, are weak instruments, and how does one detect them in practice? This paper proposes quantitative definitions of weak instruments based on the maximum IV estimator bias, or the maximum Wald test size distortion, when there are multiple endogenous regressors. We tabulate critical values that enable using the first-stage F-statistic (or, when there are multiple endogenous regressors, the Cragg-Donald (1993) statistic) to test whether given instruments are weak. A technical contribution is to justify sequential asymptotic approximations for IV statistics with many weak instruments.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Technical Working Papers with number 0284.

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Date of creation: Nov 2002
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberte:0284

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  1. Fuller, Wayne A, 1977. "Some Properties of a Modification of the Limited Information Estimator," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(4), pages 939-53, May.
  2. John C. Chao & Norman R. Swanson, 2005. "Consistent Estimation with a Large Number of Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1673-1692, 09.
  3. Donald, Stephen G & Newey, Whitney K, 2001. "Choosing the Number of Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1161-91, September.
  4. Bekker, Paul A, 1994. "Alternative Approximations to the Distributions of Instrumental Variable Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 657-81, May.
  5. repec:cup:etheor:v:9:y:1993:i:2:p:222-40 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Cragg, John G. & Donald, Stephen G., 1993. "Testing Identifiability and Specification in Instrumental Variable Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 222-240, April.
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